daring to share the ugly–a work in progress


Beginning this week I am officially on a two-week break which closes out the drawing and oil section of the mastery program. I am, however, still completing some last assignments to complete this section, namely a self-portrait, yes, another self-portrait, in oil this time.  I’m sure you are all tired of seeing my face 😂.  I know I’m getting tired of working on my features.  I have not finished this painting yet, nor have I completed the final summary assignment.  Both of these are works in progress that I am sharing here.

I have to preface this share by saying that it is especially difficult for me to show the self-portrait work in progress.  This painting is at an extremely ugly phase and I struggle to show something that I view as not good.  I find myself challenged with color and value which is the problem with this piece so far.  What has been a benefit though is that because I’ve done two previous self-portraits albeit, in a different medium with some success, I know it is not my ability to produce a self-portrait but rather the medium (oil paint) that I am currently working with.  I had to contact my coach for some suggestions admitting to her that I was at the point of starting over.  She encouraged me to keep going.  This can turn into a lesson of how to fix a painting that has gone wrong and not throwing in the towel.  A valuable lesson.  I have taken a day’s break from working on this to hopefully go back to it with renewed vigor.

For the final assignment, I was able to choose not only the subject matter but also choose the process from all that I have learned in this first quarter of the program.  After much deliberation, I chose a tiger and the Fat Over Lean process that I learned in Episode 6 (read here.)  I have a couple more layers before this painting is complete.

This week also had expressive drawing as part of the assignment.  I really enjoyed this process.  It is so freeing.  This first drawing is an abstract landscape. I’ve used both charcoal and water-soluble graphite.  I used a photograph of a seaside scene that I took many years ago in Jamaica, as reference.

This next assignment was to begin an abstract and then pull an image from the abstract.  As I began I saw a trellis or gazebo type structure with a tree behind it.  I thought a park bench would be perfect to put amongst this. This is my favorite of these two drawings.

I also want to share this drawing that is an assignment from Episode 12 on foreshortening.  This is a compilation of different images.  

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